UIHistories Project: A History of the University of Illinois by Kalev Leetaru
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Repository: UIHistories Project: Board of Trustees Minutes - 1878 [PAGE 12]

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12 Dr. J. M. Gregory, Regent, I. 2. V.


SIR : The question of moving the green house to the grounds near the University building was brought before the board nf trustees at the June meeting, 1876. Action was then postponed with a view of asking of the state legislature the necessary means. According to the estimates then presented, it would require about $1,000 to place the house as it is upon the selected site. Its inconvenient location now, and its condition, (need of extensive repair), demand urgently its removal. But for the required use it can be vastly improved. A part needs to be higher than at present, some plants being already too large for the house and others rapidly becoming so, and a part should be lower for small plants and propagation. Besides being less expensive to heat the low roof is much better for these plants. The heating apparatus is also deficient, nor can it be remedied at small cost. Again, the botanical work urgently requires a well appointed laboratory. The two rooms now used in the main building'being connected by a doorway is a great improvement over those used before, but it is not possible to secure the requisite light and heat; besides the inconvenience of obtaining material from the green house when the latter is at a distance. For the study of many of the lower plants, such as the parasitic fungi, cultures must be resorted to, and these need uniform heat, Saturdays and Sundays as well as other days and daily observations. So large a part of botanical study, except the mere reading of books, is* by the aid of microscopes, that special adaptations for the latter is all but imperative. In Europe, botanical laboratories are as common as those for chemistry, and the best institutions in this country are making provisions for the practical work upon plants, as well as for the theoretical study of text-books. A sketch of the main floor of a building is herewith presented. This is designed for the south side of the west entrance of the new University grounds, the plant houses to be attached as shown. The building is 32 X 58 ft. facing north, the longway being east and west. The laboratory room has an abundance of northern light, which is by far preferable to any other for microscopical purposes. Tables are placed at each window, and a sink and hood (for boiling preparations with chemicals) are provided. Room will also be found for a case of books, apparatus etc. Opening from this room are three others as marked, a laboratory for the instructor, which is almost as essential as the other, if any advance is to be made, a class room or lecture room and a museum. In the latter, collections of all kinds of botanical specimens, plants, seeds, woods, fruits, textile fabrics and vegetable productions would find a place and aid in efficiency in the instruction. The growing plants being also at hand in the winter time, when most of the work is done, would contribute largely in the same direction. At the east end of the building is an entrance shall and a room, for the person in charge of the plant houses. The boiler, potting and storage rooms would be in a basement story. The same heating apparatus (hot water) would answer for the work rooms and the plant houses, being constantly in use for both purposes. A glass structure of good heignt and of such construction as chosen is represented as attached to the east, and the low house at the south. For the former a curvilinier roof in two parts might be used with good effect. For th« latter the ordinary 3 X 6 sash, of which we have on hand nearly enough, could be used. The cost of all this will entirely depend upon the style adopted. For plain building, but with best fitting as regards real service, $5,000 with the material on hand would probably be required. It seems to me the necessities and advantages of such a combined structure, can be so clearly shown that success in obtaining the money from the state would be at least probable. Respectfully submitted, T. J. BURRILL.

The board took a recess of two hours to visit the shops and inspect the drill of the University battalion, to meet again at the Doane House, Champaign, at 7:30 p.m.


The board assembled as by adjournment. The following resolutions were passed:

Resolved, That the board of trustees of the Illinois Industrial University, do hereby express to Senor Colonel Lopez Fabra, royal commissioner from Spain to the International Exhibition at Philadelphia, our thanks for the valuable donation of a copy of the i 'Monumentos Arquitectonicos de Espana," of interesting casts of Spanish and Moorish architectural ornaments and of agricultural specimens. Resolved, That we respectfully request Senor Fabra to accept for himself, and to communicate to his government, our profound expression of esteem and gratitude for their generous recognition of this University of our state.

The treasurer, Mr. J. W. Bunn, then read his report, which was received and ordered to be placed on file.